Dec 27, 2021 - Economy

Top CEO worry for 2022: Job security

Illustration of a large shadow, spelling 2022, cast on a CEO nameplate.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Powerful CEOs worry about their job security as much as the rest of us do — in fact, maybe even more.

The big picture: An eye-popping 72% of CEOs are worried about losing their jobs due to the disruptions facing their industries, according to a new report out today from the global consulting firm AlixPartners.

  • The intrigue: That figure jumped 20 percentage points compared to just a year ago, when 52% of CEOs told AlixPartners they were anxious about job security.

Why it matters: The frenetic pace of change in businesses and the world has accelerated since the onset of the pandemic — leading to a spike in CEO anxiety.

  • Case in point: 94% of executives say their business models need to change within the next three years — but 57% fear their company isn't adapting fast enough.

"A CEO’s job is stressful in the best of times ... These statistics are telling, about the pressure that senior executives are feeling to move, and move quickly, to be agile to pivot into new strategies," AlixPartners CEO Simon Freakley tells Axios.

State of play: Overhauling global supply chains for today and the future, and reimagining recruitment and retention while skills needs change rapidly, were top of mind for CEOs this year.

  • That’s while digital transformation reshapes the workflow for companies — and even the disruptors get disrupted, Freakley says.

The bottom line: No need to pity CEOs — they're paid hundreds of times the average worker's wages to worry more than the rest of us. But it’s a sign of today's increasingly complex business landscape that CEO anxiety is on the rise.

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